When you’re in the air, location and precision are key factors to ensure a safe arrival at your destination. Having the right GPS tools is essential to ensure proper navigation in aviation.

The good news is that technology has advanced over the years, offering various options for GPS and navigation. Even though most planes have built-in navigation systems, many pilots choose to have a backup GPS in case of a system failure. Having an extra GPS can minimize the risk of catastrophe if something goes wrong unexpectedly.

GPS Features to Consider

Not only do modern GPS units offer basic navigation, but you can also find units with a lot of additional information to support your flight. Other available features might include:

  • Air traffic data
  • Weather updates
  • Airport information
  • Automatic flight logging
  • Terrain awareness
  • ADS-B receiver compatibility
  • Compatibility with other devices (iPads, smartphones, etc.)

GPS units don’t all have these features. So, it’s essential to check the available features when choosing the right solution for your flights.

Different Types of Aviation GPS Units

As you are shopping for aviation GPS units, you will find these most common types:

  • iPad GPS: Did you know that iPads come with built-in GPS features? If your tablet or iPad is a cellular model, you can still use the GPS feature even if you don’t have a cellular network connection. The drawback is that this iPad GPS isn’t always the most reliable because you can encounter issues if the signal drops.
  • Handheld GPS: Small, portable units are convenient to keep in your bag. They can be mounted on the glare shield or dashboard so you can see the GPS while in flight. Most of the time, these portable GPS units are compatible with a variety of devices, including cell phones and tablets. But check compatibility before buying your GPS to ensure you can connect it to your chosen device.
  • GPS Smartwatches: Wear your GPS on your wrist! These smartwatches come with the GPS features you need and other aviation-specific features. Not only are GPS smartwatches wireless, but they often offer a longer battery life compared to other types of GPS units.

There’s no question that investing in the right aviation GPS is a good choice. You can have peace of mind knowing that you are flying safely and accurately in the air.

Written by Becki Andrus